Local experts responsible for the field collection should have formal or informal practical education and training in plant sciences and have practical experience in fieldwork. They should be responsible for training any collectors who lack sufficient technical knowledge to perform the various tasks involved in the plant collection process. They are also responsible for the supervision of workers and the full documentation of the work performed. Field personnel should have adequate botanical training, and be able to recognize medicinal plants by their common names and, ideally, by their scientific (Latin) names.
Local experts should serve as knowledgeable links between non-local people and local communities and collectors. All collectors and local workers involved in the collection operation should have sufficient knowledge of the species targeted for collection and be able to distinguish target species from botanically related and/or morphologically similar species. Collectors should also receive instructions on all issues relevant to the protection of the environment and the conservation of plant species, as well as the social benefits of sustainable collection of medicinal plants.
The collection team should take measures to ensure the welfare and safety of staff and local communities during all stages of medicinal plant sourcing and trade. All personnel must be protected from toxic and dermatitis-causing plants, poisonous animals and disease-carrying insects. Appropriate protective clothing, including gloves, should be worn when necessary.
For further information, see section 4.7.